Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry, Merry

"The Settling"

as gently as
the dove
that lit upon
His shoulder.

It rustles
feathers and,
with the softness
of a child's

And, now, I shall settle into a vacation... see you in the New Year. Until then, merry merry to you.

Doves photo by Gail Nadeau. Used with permission.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


…but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” Matthew 19:14

What did He mean by this anyhow? He, who came as a child… into the arc of a mother's embrace?

Child with Tree photo by Gail Nadeau. Used with permission.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Gift of Blues

Yesterday, this came in the mail. And I can’t wait to read it. Ed is an engaging writer, and, as Phil Yancey says, “a gentle prophet.”

Besides, as I turned to the back to read the acknowledgements, my eyes welled up. I don’t know, it must have been the talk about a daddy missing bedtime stories and kisses for the sake of a book.

The epigraph also got me thinking… “First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:24)

Recently, I commented on the issue of ethnicity (and posted a poem), because I think that communion between all peoples is actually at the center of God's heart. For, in Isaiah 19:24, it says, "On that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, 'Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my heritage.'"

Anyhow, I hope to catch a little more vision for that future by reading Ed Gilbreath's Reconcilation Blues.

To read more about Ed’s journey as a writer and editor of Today’s Christian, go to the L.L. Barkat article In the Stars.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Love You Too

Sonia, you are full of life and joy. Thank you for your love poem. This is for you...


how beautiful,
how beautiful are the feet,
your feet, my child,
unearned, unasked for,
dancing in my life

the smallness of your toes,
the softness of your arches
that curve my mind
to the Holy Child

that Child
who tiptoes 'round
the edges of my soul,
singing good news,
how beautiful,
how beautiful indeed.

Photo by Sara.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Babysitting—Free, Plus Poetry

As far as I can tell, this guy babysits for free.

So, all you three trillion readers out there should contact him IMMEDIATELY. Because he is worth a trial babysit. I say this, because he wrote a letter to my daughter, and now she is open to taking cello lessons!

Thanks, Mark. I will definitely buy your book for Sara when it comes out.

And, now, speaking of literature & kids, here's a love poem from my Sonia...

"I Love You"

I love you more
than flowers
and seven tall
For you
I have powers
of love.

Monday, December 11, 2006

MP3 Download Writing

I have a friend who works at Google. We were talking blogs. “You should write about MP3 downloads,” he said.

“Write about MP3 downloads? Why would I want to do that?”

“It’s the popular thing right now,” he told me. “Chances are, if you write about MP3 downloads, you’ll get googled.”

Well, I told him, that’s all fine and good, except that the googler will end up here, hopeful for MP3 and instead he’ll just get me. My friend seemed unconcerned.

Anyway, this reminded me of Betsy Lerner’s advice to writers in The Forest for the Trees. She notes that people often want to write what’s popular, what’s selling. “What should I write about?” they ask her.

“Asking for advice about what you should write is a little like asking for help getting dressed,” she says. “I can tell you what I think looks good, but you have to wear it. And as every fashion victim knows, very few people look good in everything.” (p15)

Needless to say, that’s why I’m not wearing MP3.

(Many thanks to Christianne for recommending Betsy Lerner's book.)

Technorati Profile: just trying this out, so I'm posting on one of my "off" days. :)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Cello Cares

Yesterday, my older daughter was in tears because she doesn't want to take cello lessons. A family member had offered to pay for these lessons, and we thought it would be a good idea. But, the tears.

What to do? My first reaction was anger. Words swirled in my head, You are so lucky; you don't even know!

My second reaction was confusion. How can she not want this beautiful thing? She loves cello music. She loves music, period. And she can make the piano sing. Besides, our schedule is quite fluid as the kids are educated at home. She has no lack of personal time.

I still don't know what decision we'll make. Kids don't always see the future benefits. They can get stuck in the moment.

In any case, this will be on my mind as we move forward...

"If children...are sought for pleasure, they are likely to disappoint us, and may even be sources of displeasure that threaten [a] marriage. Children are a long-term investment of the highest sort, and we need to build that investment steadily with painstaking faith, love, and prayer."

Any thoughts on my cello cares?

Quote is from How Much is Enough? by Arthur Simon, p.83.

"Consideration" Painting by Stefani M. Rossi Used with permission.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Behold the Ant

Here’s something to really think about. People are big. Ants are little. But ants represent more biomass on earth than humans. I discovered this in Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, by McDonough & Braungart.

And yet…

Ants continue to work seamlessly within nature, while we… well, we know what we’re doing. (Anyone in need of a reminder will want to check out Living Downstream).

Anyway, I like what McDonough & Braungart say, based on the ant, the worm, the deer, the tree, and so on…

“If nature is our model, what does it mean for human industries to be involved in maintaining and enriching this vibrant tapestry? First, it means that in the course of our individual activities, we work toward a rich connection with place…

Industries that respect diversity engage with local material and energy flows, and with local social, cultural, and economic forces, instead of viewing themselves as autonomous entities, unconnected to the culture or landscape around them.”

My kids and I are not engaged in any big industry. No products for sale. Still, we create. We impact. So, on Tuesday we became ants. Ants who made Nativity scenes. You can read more about this on my other blog, Green Inventions Central.

Deer Photo Gail Nadeau. Used with permission.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Green Thumb Compassion

I like Michael Pollan’s discussion of how to plant a tree seedling.

“You need to restore a reasonable root-shoot ratio if your seedlings are to withstand the shock of transplant. But the green thumb has an intuitive sense of these matters — of just how much shoot and leaf to amputate… It is not too much to say he suffers along with the newly-planted tree, watching its leaves go limp and fold along their midribs as it struggles to staunch the flight of irreplaceable water molecules.”

“When the dry west wind blows he can all but see those molecules lift from the leaves, and he knows the roots at that moment are as useless as fish gills in open air. He comes to the tree’s rescue not with a hose but with pruning shears and saws.” (p.150)

This week, with portions of my manuscript, I was the compassionate green thumb. To an outsider I might have looked ruthless, but I knew in my heart that I was saving things, saving the tree with my shears and my handsaws. Still, we’ll see if my editor thinks I was compassionate enough.

What kind of unlikely compassion have you showed your work, your writing, or your relationships lately?

Tree Leaves photo by Sara. Quote from Michael Pollan’s Second Nature.

Friday, December 01, 2006


Lately, I've been missing my growing-up place, where I felt anchored to Creation... maybe it's because I've been writing about my past (yes, still in book revisions). Don't know...

I miss
the place
that cradled stars
in blackness,
even while
my heart
searched for
the elusive

Photo by Andrew Denny. Granny Buttons